Junior Golf: The Clock

imageIn today’s Wednesday Waggle we are taking a look at time, as in the clock and it’s importance in junior golf. This reminds me of some of the great rock songs: Time Has Come Today -The Chambers Brothers, Time (Is On My Side) – The Rolling Stones and Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is – Chicago. Great music, great memories, great relevance.

Every junior golfer ends up having his own pre-tournament routine. It may take a few events for him to know what his routine will be, but he will have one and he will know when he wants to arrive at the course. With S3, it was and still is to be at the course 1 hour before his tee time. We always left the house earlier rather than later. S3’s line would be “Dad, let’s go. We don’t want to be late”. Not meaning late for his tee time, but late for his on-site routine: hitting some balls, chipping, putting and just getting comfortable, and checking in, or course. Your son will find a length of time for him. Several of S3’s friends just had to be at the course 1.5 hours before their tee time. It varies, but when your son tells you he wants to be at the course X hours before his tee time, respect it and make sure you get him there sooner rather than later. There is enough stress playing in a tournament and you don’t want to add to it by disrupting his routine. (photo golfdigest.com)

Now that your son is at the course, a 2nd, more serious clock comes into play and that is the clock for his tee time. There are 2 ways of starting his round: a shotgun start where multiple groups start at the same time on different holes and there may be as many as 2 groups per hole, an A & B group. The tournament director will tell them either to wait until they hear a horn to begin play or that they can tee off as soon as everyone has arrived at his hole. Nobody has much chance of being late for their start as this is a fairly casual, effective way to start an event.image

The 2nd way he will start a tournament is with tee times. This is where being on time is critical. If his tee time is 9:00:00am and he shows up 1-second late, he is late and is penalized 2 strokes. If he is 5 minutes or more late, he is DQ’d, disqualified. S3 and I were at #1 tee at a junior event and he was in the 2nd group in line. So we’re watching the current group hit and a boy comes up and the starter informs him he is late and is penalized 2 strokes. Well, his Mom went livid and ran over to Grandpa and starting chewing him out. She had gone off somewhere and had given him instructions on when to get the boy to the tee and Grandpa lost track of time or such. Tee times are serious business. Treat them accordingly. Starting a round off with a par is a good thing. Starting with a 2-stroke penalty sets a horrible tone for the rest of the round.

For more information do a search for penalty for being late for tee times. You will find a specific example about Dustin Johnson. Then there was the time Rory came running to #1 tee at a British Open, I think it was. We all make mistakes, but parents it is up to you to do the nuts and bolts things like getting your son to #1 tee on time. Do it. (photo golftext.net)

See you on #1 tee, on time… Sam.

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